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You Don't Need to Climb Mount Rainier National Park to Enjoy This Beautiful Washington Camping Spot
Mount Rainier National Park is a beautiful park located in Washington State. Established in 1899, it was the fifth national park and is one of the oldest. All of Mount Rainier is a 14,411 foot tall strato-volcano that is entirely contained within the park. The park has a vast range in from the lowest of 1,600 to the highest of 14,411 feet. Waterfalls, old growth forests, mountain ranges, valleys, meadows and 26 glaciers fill the park. Carbon Glacier is the largest glacier by volume in the continental United States while Emmons Glacier is the largest by area. Almost 1.3 million people visit this beautiful park each year, and with so much to see and do, it is an excellent Washington camping destination!
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Mount Rainier National Park’s weather patterns are heavily influenced by the Pacific Ocean and elevation. It is generally wet and cool year round. Summer highs reach up into the 70’s, and while July and August are the driest months of the year, rain is possible at any point of any day. Snow remains in the higher elevations well into July. Winter is cold, rainy, and snowy in the higher elevations. Spring and fall are mild, although generally wet. Both seasons offer beautiful colors, blooming wildflowers in spring and changing autumn foliage in fall. Hikers and mountain climbers should always double-check the current weather forecasts before setting out since weather is unpredictable, especially in the mountains. The park is open year round and peak visiting months are July and August. The park is enjoyable any time of the year and each season has its own activities and scenery to offer.There is a $15 entrance fee which is valid for seven days. A Mount Rainier National Park annual pass cost $30. The annual interagency pass that grants access into most national parks costs $80.
Once you reach Mount Rainier National Park you’ll find plenty to do and see. Scenic drives, hiking and mountain climbing are some of the most popular activities. You can hike through beautiful meadows, up winding mountain paths, along crystal lakes, through old-growth forests, or even along giant glaciers! There are plenty of family friendly hikes, easy strolls, moderate treks, and strenuous hikes to choose from. In order to protect the delicate wilderness of the park, hikers need to stay on the designated trails. Thousands of people a year attempt to climb Mount Rainier, and about 25% of climbers make it to the summit. To reach the summit, you’ll gain more than 9,000 feet over a distance of just 8 or so miles. The difficult climb requires skill, experience and good physical shape. Weather and snow conditions can change dramatically in minutes, so climbers must be prepared for any and all possibilities. While climbing Mount Rainier might not be for everyone, the view from the summit is worth every painstaking moment, especially on rare clear days. The park is also excellent for winter activities, such as skiing, snowshoeing and snowboarding. Mount Rainier National Park has something to offer everyone, making it a truly wonderful Washington camping destination!
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Top National Parks to Visit in the United States